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Todd Rothe : UI/UX Developer

it's pronounced rowth-ee

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Free VOIP or E-Free Home Phone

After reading the Free VOIP article, by Dave Mathews, in Make magazine issue 11, I decided to try installing VOIP in my home. Like most ‘free’ services there are limitations. Here is a short list
You can:

  • receive calls from anyone.
  • make toll free calls (to many countries).
  • call most VOIP numbers.

For other featrures, like calling grandma’s landline, you will need a pay service (more below).

First i ordered a Linksys PAP2 on Ebay for $40 with shipping. This highly configurable device sits between a router and a standard phone. You can think of it as the magic box that turns your broadband into a dial tone.

The Dave Matthews article instructs you to get an account from FWD, a large PBX but FWD is no longer open to the public. Instead I searched for alternatives and settled on voip.ms. Voip.ms handles call termination and origination and provides an optional pay service that will allow you to purchase credits to make calls to grandma’s landline (and other exotic terminations).

The article also points you to IpKall which will give you a free Washington state phone number and let you terminate calls at your SIP account/device.

Using voip.ms allows you to skip PBX and IpKall account creations and instead acquire a number with a local area code for $1/mo (not free but worth it IMHO). My favorite thing about using voip.ms is having one location for configuration details: no confusion over which user name to use in which config settings location. Voip.ms has great instructions on how to configure your device and config settings are spelled out nicely under Support -> Account Information.

You must also configure your router (don’t brick it) to pass VOIP traffic to your ATA.
First give your ATA a static IP in your routers DHCP client list.
Then modify your routers firewall settings (you may have to look for these) to forward traffic from the following ports to the same ports on you ATA.
Port: 5060 Type: UDP/TCP
Port: 5082 Type: UDP/TCP
Port: 16384-16482 Type: UDP
Here is an image of my Router settings.

If you run into issues and are working with an ATA check out the image of my SIP config screen and Line 1 config screen to compare with your own.

Decided you want a local number? See my Free VOIP or E-Free Local Phone post for more info.

One simple way to test origination is to use X-Lite. See my Free VOIP Test Using Softphone post for more info.

more posts at www.toddrothe.com/blog

 

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